150th Gettysburg Sojourn, Part 29

Sojourn 29 Battalion

It doesn’t matter what Confederate ancestor you portray, or of what Confederate unit you are a member. When you come to a Gettysburg Reenactment, Pickett’s Charge is what you wait for. To be able to march across the long expanse, shoulder to shoulder, like they did makes you feel like a hero of old. Pride swells in your being.

Even though you don’t have to worry about being really killed, you feel an elation of camaraderie that allows you to briefly reach across the Dark River to the Other Side and ask, “Did you feel this way too?”

“Viewing the overwhelming numbers of your comrades, did you believe there was no way you would be stopped? Because that is what I feel at this moment in time.”

It brings tears to your eyes, and the only words that penetrate your brain are, “How brave. How courageous. How glorious they were.”

Then comes the realization; their blood flows in my veins.

Suddenly, you are overcome with the emotion of love for those men, and you understand that you are their legacy. You must do your best to portray them. You can’t let them down. They deserve the best you have to offer.

So you get a strut in your step. Your do you best to keep in perfect cadence with the drums. Your head is erect, and a martial bearing emanates from your body.

All down the line others are picking it up too, and finally it spills out of your mouth in a howling, hair-raising Rebel Yell. It is picked up by your Pards, and y’all repeatedly scream it like banshees until your voices give out and you have to take a drink from your canteen to take the sting out of your throat.

As you near the staging area, your stomach has so many butterflies that you think you are going to fly away.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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